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The advantage of failure for your small business

Failure. For many entrepreneurs this word strikes dread in their heart. What will you do if you fail? What will people think of you should you fail? But these are thoughts we should be putting to bed. Failure needs to be viewed in a new light. Let’s look at the advantages of failure for your business.

ADVANTAGE 1: You can learn from your mistakes

When we fail, we need to examine the mistakes which led to the failure. Many times mistakes can be divided into three categories.

  • Preventable mistakes: These are mistakes which we could have prevented should we has paid more attention to detail, followed best practices or hired/had the right talent. The joy of these mistakes is that we can learn from them and then work towards success the next time we are faced with this challenge.
  • Unavoidable mistakes: These are errors which happen because of a complex number of variables. Some of which are under your control and the others not. The solution is to implement systems into your business which will highlight when things are going off track and then do corrective action before the mistakes snowball and you may inevitably have to close your business.
  • Intelligent mistakes: These are probably the best kind of mistakes as they made with a goal in mind. They are more focused on trial and error to see what works for your business. These are well-thought-out experiments which if fail teach us more about how to adapt our service or product. They also cost us the least should we make them.

ADVANTAGE 2: It improves your credibility

When we fail and persevere afterwards to achieve our goal, then we will gain credibility in business. A business which has not a had a few failures on the way may seem too good to be true and people could be wary to do business with you. But if we are able to share our challenges and stories of perseverance, we will gain credibility in the industry.

ADVANTAGE 3: It keeps you humble

Often when we have too much success, we may become arrogant and flippant about the way we do business. It is important for us to fail so we can regroup and understand what has brought us to where we are today. It is also helps to remind us that success can be fleeting.

ADVANTAGE 4: It keeps you focused

When we fail, it is often that we have forgotten about the reason we went into business in the first place. It is important to review the goals and purpose of our business and that we conduct our business in a way which reflects our authentic self. We were designed to run our businesses to reflect our personality and we will attract customers who like our authentic selves.

ADVANTAGE 5: It is a stepping stone to success

Remember that your failures are just the refining fire you need to go towards success. When you have failed, you need to review your mistakes through an objective view and step back on to the playing field. You will have more skills and knowledge and therefore be able to make better business decisions.

Let me leave you with this last thought on failure, though it may be inevitable it does not mean you need to give up. Rather it is an opportunity to reassess your plan and move on to bigger and better successes.

Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing. – Denis Waitley